GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Lakers 23 25 20 23 91
Play by Play San Antonio Spurs 28 28 22 24 102

Lakers vs. Spurs: Game 2
Press Pass: Mike D'Antoni
Cleanin' It Up
High Riser
Howard's Big Slam
Practice: Dwight Howard
Lakers Ready for Game 2


Parker leads Spurs to 102-91 win over Lakers

Posted Apr 25 2013 12:36AM

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Tony Parker had 28 points and seven assists and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers 102-91 on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference first-round playoff series.

Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard had 16 points each, Manu Ginobili added 13 points and Matt Bonner had 10 for San Antonio.

Dwight Howard and Steve Blake had 16 points each to lead Los Angeles. Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol added 13 points each, but no other player had more than nine as the Lakers shot 45 percent from the field.

Game 3 is Friday night in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles said a key to winning was shooting better, and they did - but so did San Antonio.

The Spurs shot 51 percent from the field after shooting 38 percent in Game 1. San Antonio was 7 for 14 on 3-pointers, including 5 for 7 in the first half.

Parker had 15 points in the third quarter after going 1 for 6 in the first half. He scored 12 straight points on a series of layups and floating jumpers against Steve Blake. Parker's run gave the Spurs a 75-65 lead with 3 minutes left in the third.

The Lakers shot 37 percent (9 for 24) in the first quarter, a slight improvement over their 7-for-20 performance (35 percent) in the opening quarter of Game 1.

Gasol posted early, tipping in a miss by Howard for the game's opening basket and missing a 5-footer before Duncan blocked his 5-foot hook.

The Lakers went to the perimeter following the block, resulting in consecutive 3s by Blake and World Peace for an 8-6 lead with 8:23 left in the first quarter.

Ginobili once again energized the Spurs, sparking runs of 13-4 and 10-3 to close the first and second quarters. He had 12 points in the first half and was 3 for 4 on 3-pointers.

He had six points with two assists and a block in 6 minutes to bridge the first and second quarters.

Ginobili hit two 3s in the final minute of the second quarter, including one off his initial pass that bounced off DeJuan Blair's head but eventually found its way back to him. He also fed a streaking Leonard for a dunk off a turnover.

In the first quarter, Ginobili hit a step-back 3 and then drew the defense and fed Gary Neal for an open 3, which he made to give the Spurs a 28-23 lead at the close of the first quarter.

The Lakers went on a 9-2 run to close within 33-32 with 8 minutes left in the first half. Nash opened and closed the run with jumpers.

Bonner's 3 on an open look drew a cry of frustration from Gasol, who shouted at the bench and pointed at Bonner over an apparent missed assignment.

Howard had heated battles with Bonner and Duncan in the first half. After getting tied up midway through the second quarter, Duncan and Howard walked down the court glaring at each other with Howard jawing at Duncan.

Howard was later grabbed from behind by Bonner and his arm was pulled by Ginobili, but the Lakers All-Star still managed to bank in a layup, flexing his muscles after the shot. Howard even made the ensuing free throw, giving the Lakers a 44-43 lead with 3 minutes left in the first half.

Howard was 2 for 4 on free throws.

Bonner followed with a 3, however, to put the Spurs back on top at 46-44.

NOTES: The Spurs have the second-most playoff wins since selecting Duncan with the top overall pick in 1997. San Antonio is 119-77 since 1998, trailing only the Lakers' 133-81. . Duncan has 139 double-doubles in the playoffs, fourth all-time behind Magic Johnson (157), Wilt Chamberlin (143) and Shaquille O'Neal (142). . Lakers C Jordan Hill played for the first time since undergoing left hip surgery Jan. 23. He was listed as "out" for Game 2, but came off the bench with 3 minutes left in the game. . The Lakers had six players listed as probable, but all played. Gasol (foot), Howard (shoulder), Jamison (wrist), Meeks (ankle), Nash (hamstring) and World Peace (knee) all played at least 20 minutes. . Ginobili and Duncan had their customary snack of red Lifesavers before the game, sending a trainer over to collect a handful from an official scorer before pre-game introductions.

Copyright 2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited


View More Photos

Points Parker (SAS), 28
Rebounds Gasol/Howard, 9
Assists Ginobili/Parker (SAS), 7
Steals Bonner (SAS), 3
Blocks Howard, 4


Mike D’Antoni:

On Kawhi Leonard’s performance tonight:
“He played very efficient and very good. That’s the problem. They have so many guys who can make baskets. It’s either (Matt) Bonner doing it and (Kawhi) Leonard did it tonight. It’s always (Tony) Parker, (Manu) Ginobili and (Tim) Duncan but then somebody else picks up the slack and tonight was Leonard and Bonner. Both of them played a terrific game.”

On the Lakers trouble closing out quarters:
“You have to give credit to them (Spurs). When the ball hits somebody in the head, bounced around and went over to the three that didn’t help any. That’s why they are good. They are a better team. They know their go-to plays and are very efficient. We struggled a little bit of finding things at the end. It shouldn’t be a big reason but today was huge in the first and second quarter when we could not close it out. That set the tone.”

On the change in the game when Dwight Howard got four fouls in the third quarter:
“Well, a little bit. It doesn’t help. I thought Dwight (Howard) played a good game and that hurt us, but we did make a little bit of a comeback there even with him on the bench. We played well, but again, we get it down to a certain point and it seems like somebody pops up and makes a good play. It’s either (Tim) Duncan or (Manu) Ginobili usually but tonight Bonner hit some big shots. They are just more efficient then we are. They are playing better than we are right now. It’s two games on their court and now we go home. Let’s win the one on Friday and then figure it out.”

Dwight Howard:

On tonight's game:
"They (Spurs) did a good job of coming up with plays we have not seen. Some of their guys got hot when we were trying to make a run and it just made it tough."

On if the Spurs defense frustrated him tonight when several guys attacked him in the paint:
"It is frustrating. I just have to trust my teammates to make shots. On whatever they do defensively I have to be aware of my arms and try not to get tangled up."

On Tony Parker's scoring in the third quarter and if it affected the team:
"I do not think it got us down, he just made some tough shots and we were not able to recover from them. We just have to go home now and win the next two."

On if Matt Bonner got under his skin tonight:
"No, he didn't."

On if he is confident they have enough weapons to overcome the two losses:
"Either we overcome it or go home and we do not want to go home. We fought to get into the playoffs and we are going to keep fighting. They can send as many guys as they want in there but I just have to trust the guys on my team to hit the shots. We just have to battle the rest of the series."

Steve Nash:

On re-aggravating his hamstring:
“Unfortunately I tweaked it in the first half. I tried to keep going. It got worse as the game went on.”

On playing in Friday’s game:
“I am going to have a repeat epidural in the morning. I will see if I can get any improvement out of it and we will see on Friday.

On how injuries have hurt them:
“This has been far and away the worst season for injuries I have ever been a part of personally and collectively.”

On how injuries are affecting them:
“It feels that way. I don’t want to jump the gun because you never know how we respond to treatments and stuff on Friday. It certainly hasn’t been good and doesn’t boat well for us the way things have worked out for us.”

Metta World Peace:

On how injuries have played a role on the Lakers team:
“I came back seven days after surgery. We were still in the game. We still have Dwight Howard. We still have Pau (Gasol). That is just a way out. It is an excuse. When you lose you lose. It is that simple. You don’t say the Lakers lost because of injuries. You lost. The score is the score. That is it. No excuses.”

On the necessary adjustments for Game 3:
“Nothing really needs to be fixed. It’s a simple game.”

On the expectations once they return back to Los Angeles:
“Every day I am getting better. Collectively we will be okay.

Greg Popovich:

Talk about Tony Parker’s second half:
“Well he really gave us a huge boost. He sort of played a team game in the first half. He moved the ball and didn’t really get involved all that much. I was actually a little concerned. We always need him to be aggressive and he knew that. He’s been around long enough to know what was going on and that we needed to score. We needed to establish some momentum offensively and he really did a great job in that third quarter. He got us going.”

After these two games, are you happier with what you’re seeing than at the end of the regular season:
“I thought we played two pretty good games on the defensive end of the court back-to-back. That was our goal at the beginning of the season and we did it for most of the year, as I said, until maybe the last three weeks of the season it dissipated. We got it back for these two games. We’ll see if we can continue to play good defense both individually and team wise when we get out to L.A.”

Can you discuss Matt Bonner manning up with Dwight Howard:
“Matty’s a tough minded individual. He’s a heck of a competitor and a great team guy. He’ll do whatever we ask him to do. I think his family worries about him and the things we ask him to do out there. He did everything he could. Obviously he’s outmatched physically, but he never stopped working. That’s for sure. He was a big part of what we did tonight.”

Talk about Steve Nash grinding it out on the court:
“Steve’s one of the all-time great competitors and he’s going to give everything he’s got. If he’s not whole, whatever is there, he’s going to give. That’s just who he is. He won’t stop competing.”

Talk about the challenges going back to Los Angeles and trying to finish it up:
“In the playoffs, every game’s a challenge. It doesn’t matter if you’re at home or on the road. Physicality goes up, intensity, competitiveness. Everybody’s trying to get the same prize. It will be even tougher when you go out on the road. All we did was keep serve in a way. We’ve got to go out there and see if we can play better than we have here at home.”

Manu Ginobili:

When asked about the impact of Matt Bonner tonight:
“He was a key player for us today. He was very active defensively. Of course he’s giving Dwight (Howard) a big advantage in size, strength and quickness and I could keep going. But he did a great job getting around him, fronting him from behind. He was very active getting rebounds too. Also, being a threat from the three point line. We should have given him the ball more today, he was open a few times. We had Tiago (Splitter) in foul trouble most of the game. So it was huge for us to have another key contributor from the bigs.”

When asked is the mentality to hold serve right now:
“Definitely. In the past we lost series like this. Last year, even against the Lakers a few years ago. So it can happen. We have a great advantage, but we have to be very humble and work hard. Knowing full well that we want to win one on the road. We just want to go there and play a great game.”

When asked if he could play more minutes:
“I’m ready to play more. He’s (Gregg Popovich) always very cautious. I probably could have played more today, but we had a great lead in the fourth up 17. So he probably thought that we had a shot of closing right there. I’m ready to play my minutes. I’m not the type of player to play 40 (minutes) ever. Around 25 to 30 (minutes) is what I usually play. I think I’m ready.”

When asked if in the third quarter was the best he has seen Tony Parker play in a while:
“He (Tony Parker) was impressive in the second half. He really took over. He was aggressive and he was getting fouled. He was making his jumpers. So of course we need Tony like that. You can’t always play a game like that, a 24-point half. He’s had unbelievable games this season. He struggled physically the past month or so. Now he’s getting healthy and we’re going to see a more old school Tony. Like the November, December and January Tony.”

Tony Parker:

On getting back into form tonight:
“Second half, I was very aggressive. I got a rhythm going. I’ve been battling a lot of injuries. It felt good tonight so hopefully, I can maintain that. Most importantly, we won the game and the team played very well tonight.”

On the difficulties of going to Los Angeles for Game 3:
“It’s going to be tough. They’re a very good team. They’ve got two of the best big guys in the league. We’re going to have to play our best defense over there to try and win. We know they are not going to just fall. They are going to fight and play with a lot of energy. They’re going to have their crowd. We’re going to have to make sure we match that.”

On the difference between the first and second half:
“First half, I was just trying to stay with the team. The team was playing great. Kawhi (Leonard) was very aggressive. Matt Bonner was playing great. I just felt like staying in the flow of the team. In the second half, I was more aggressive. We were struggling a little bit offensively and I decided to be aggressive.”

On the play of Manu Ginobili:
“He’s doing well. It’s not easy to be out for three weeks and come back. I know because I did it. It’s tough. We’ll see how he can maintain that. The first two-or-three games, you play with a lot of adrenaline and then reality kicks in. Hopefully, Manu is not going to feel that and he’s going to keep playing at a high level.”

Tim Duncan:

On the team getting back into a rhythm:
“We’re getting our rhythm back. You see Tony (Parker) tonight and that’s probably the best part of the whole game. He’s getting his rhythm back. He felt good tonight. He shot the ball well tonight. He looked like the Tony of midseason tonight and that’s great for us.”

On the difficulties of going to Los Angeles for Game 3:
“It’s going to change. The energy is going to be in their building. They’re going to continue to attack. They believe they are due a win, they are due more calls and they are due for all kinds of different things. They’re going to come out even harder than they did before. I’ve got to be ready for that. I’ll have to start building a personality on the road.”

On the defensive play of Matt Bonner on Dwight Howard:
“Matty’s (Bonner) been great. We put a game plan together and told him that he might have to guard him sometimes. He’s been real active. Obviously offensively, he stretches the floor for us but defensively, he’s done a really good job.”




Posted Apr 23 2013 6:46PM

SAN ANTONIO (AP) The Los Angeles Lakers have battled injuries, turmoil and lofty expectations under a heavy spotlight all season, so excuse them if they roll their eyes over the attention given to Kobe Bryant's tweets.

Bryant tweeted throughout the Lakers' loss to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series. Bryant, out for the season with a torn Achilles, critiqued his team's offense on his Twitter account while watching the national broadcast Sunday afternoon.

Bryant will no longer tweet during games, saying he doesn't want to be a distraction - but was he? "Absolutely not. I'm a distraction," Metta World Peace said. "I'm much more of a distraction than Kobe is."

World Peace's eccentricities aside, the Lakers have much more to worry about entering Game 2 on Wednesday night.

"Our concern is with the Spurs and what we have to do to get a win tomorrow," Dwight Howard said.

Los Angeles entered the playoffs having won five straight, averaging 105 points in that streak, but had its third-lowest point total of the season in the 91-79 loss in the opener.

The Lakers shot 41 percent (30-for-73), including 3-for-15 from 3-point range. Howard and Paul Gasol combined to go 13-for-25, while guards Steve Nash and Steve Blake were 11-for-28.

"We've got to make shots," Howard said. "We have to make shots. We got some good looks. Both of the Steves had some good looks; I think they will knock down those shots in this game."

The Lakers spent their two off-days following Game 1 working on their offense. Bryant's injury April 12 forced Los Angeles to change the playbook on the fly from a perimeter-based set to one that features Howard down low.

"We cleaned up our offense, how to the get the ball inside-out," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We added some new wrinkles, and defensively, be sure to go over the stuff that didn't work and the stuff that might come up."

Los Angeles limited San Antonio to 38-percent shooting, but the Spurs attempted 12 more shots and had nine turnovers compared to 18 for Los Angeles.

Manu Ginobili had 18 points in 19 minutes in his second game after missing nine straight with a strained right hamstring. Ginobili scored eight straight points to close the third quarter, helping the Spurs take a 70-57 lead.

D'Antoni said the Lakers don't have any secrets to stopping Ginobili.

"I don't think anybody has come up with it yet," D'Antoni said. "We're not going to invent it over the last two days. He's just a big-game time player, always has been, that's been his M.O. since I've known him in Italy. Just have to work it. He's like Parker and Duncan, there is no real defense, there's containment, try to hope he doesn't kill you with a timely 3 and all that. Again he did all that, we scored 80-something points."

Tony Parker also had 18 points, but was 8-for-21 as he struggled to finish under the basket. Parker said he is not fully recovered after battling a sore neck, ankle and shin in the final month of the season, but is getting healthier every day.

"I don't know if we change things (offensively in light of Parker's injury), but you look for other people to help us out scoring wise probably," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Because there are some things Tony is not yet confident with, movement wise, but he's getting better every game, every day and he's much closer to being whole. So I don't think he's going to have a problem as far competing and playing the way we're used to seeing him most of the season."

The Lakers can empathize.

A season that began with the promise of a 17th NBA title following a trade for Howard has devolved with the firing of Mike Brown and injuries to Howard, Gasol, World Peace and Nash. Nash missed Los Angeles' final nine games of the regular season with a hamstring/hip injury and World Peace returned a week after undergoing surgery for a lateral meniscus tear in early April.

"Doesn't matter, pain, no pain, doesn't matter at this point, you go," World Peace said. "That's what it's about - going, that's it. The moment you say I'm playing through pain or playing with some discomfort or I'm not ready or not in rhythm that's an excuse, it's a way out. There's not going to be an easy route trying to reach the goals that we want to reach."

Gasol, who tore his planar fascia, struggled offensively in Game 1. Bryant tweeted the best way to get Gasol on track was to "Post. Post. Post."

Bryant's commentary drew a rolling of the eyes from D'Antoni following Game 1. The coach later added he didn't mind Bryant's tweets, saying the Lakers guard is now "a fan," which drew an "Lol" from Bryant.

"That was a great joke," World Peace said of D'Antoni's "fan" comment. "Mike D'Antoni is slick, boy. That was awesome. Kobe was awesome at tweeting at coach's decisions on the court and coach messaged him back through the media. That's what it's all about."

Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Probable Starters .
  #15 World Peace SF #2 Leonard  
  #16 GasolPF #21 Duncan  
  #12 Howard C #22 Splitter  
  #5 Blake SG #20 Green  
  #10 Nash PG #9 Parker  


Lakers Kobe Bryant
(torn left Achilles tendon) is out.
Pau Gasol
(strained plantar fascia, right foot) is probable.
Jordan Hill
(left hip surgery) is out.
Dwight Howard
(torn labrum, right shoulder) is probable.
Antawn Jamison
(sprained right wrist) is probable.
Jodie Meeks
(sprained left ankle) is probable.
Steve Nash
(strained right hamstring) is probable.
Metta World Peace
(lateral meniscus tear, left knee) is probable.
Jazz Boris Diaw
(synovial cyst excision, lumbar spine) is out.

11/13 - SAS 84 @ LAL 82
01/09 - LAL 105 @ SAS 108
04/14 - SAS 86 @ LAL 91

4/21 - LAL 79 @ SAS 91